Hearing Loss Support Groups
Learn from Professionals & FamiliesNational Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: My Baby's Hearing
Excellent resources about infant hearing screenings, communication options, and parent supportThe Hearing Exchange
Online community for the exchange of ideas and information on hearing loss. No matter what method of communication you have chosen, you'll find interesting and supportive information.American Society for Deaf Children
ASDC is a national organization of families and professionals committed to education, empowering, and supporting parents and families to create opportunities for their children who are deaf and hard of hearing in gaining meaningful and full communication access, particularly through the competent use of sign language, in their homes, schools, and communities.Preparing Postsecondary Professionals (P3)
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education - Practical solutions to challenges faced daily by deaf and hard of hearing studentsHelpful Book List for Parents
Booklist from Gallaudet University about raising a deaf childLocating parent support groups
National and state organizations to help parents of deaf children find local support groupsThe Listen-Up Web
Helpful information about deaf education and early childhoodSKI-HI Early Intervention Curriculum
Curriculum used by early intervention specialistsParents Helping Parents
PHP is a family resource center serving parents of children with special needs
Language & Educational OptionsDeaf Education Options Guide
Thorough explanation of language and educational options for families. Includes information about Bilingual-Bicultural education, Auditory/Oral education, Total Communication approach, American Sign Language, Manual Codes for English, Cued Speech, Residential Schools for the Deaf, Day Schools, Early Intervention/Preschool Programs, Mainstreaming and Inclusion, Self-Contained Classrooms, and Home School EnvironmentCommunication Options Reference
Comparison of American Sign Language, Auditory-Verbal, Cued Speech, Auditory-Oral, and Total Communication methodsDeaf Education: A Parent's Guide
Overview for parents about issues related to deafness, the deaf education, and Deaf culture.Bilingual-Bicultural Deaf Education Resources
Resource list from the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet UniversityCued Speech as an Option
Letter by a teacher of the deaf written to a cued speech task force
Info to Know
- Infant Hearing Screenings
- How to Read Your Hearing Test
- Deaf Culture
- Deaf Adoption News Service
- Deaf Students with Multiple Disabilities
- Deafness-related Legal Issues
- Government Assistance for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People
- Sources of Financial Assistance For Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- Stuff for Kids
Hearing Loss Support Groups - Find Local Groups
When a person loses their hearing, whether suddenly or over a long period, there can be many emotional repercussions. In a survey by Cochlear' Americas, 90% of those with severe hearing loss missed the voices of loved ones, the sound of laughter or even the noise of nearby traffic and birds. 50% of respondents said that their loss of hearing damaged their relationships with family and friends, causing them to become less intimate. The saddest revelation of this survey was 44% of those suffering from moderate to severe hearing loss felt there was no hope for an improvement in their quality of life.
While hearing naturally degenerates with age, some people experience this at a much higher level. For these people, finding support can be difficult. The family and friends they would usually turn to in a time of need most likely do not understand what they are feeling or going through. Because of this, support groups can prove to be an invaluable resource for those suffering from hearing loss.
Making the decision to join or participate in a group can be a difficult choice for many. The fear of the unknown can make it hard for someone to put themselves out there, despite the fact that hearing loss support groups are warm and welcoming places. Most support groups meet in small enough sizes to facilitate easy discussion between all members. The amount of meetings can vary from a few times a week to once a month or a few times a year. With hearing loss support groups, the meetings are usually facilitated by a seasoned member or a licensed professional. Meetings typically begin with a reading of group news and events, which is followed by the introduction of new participants. This introduction can prove daunting for new members, so it is important to note that introducing oneself is by no means required. In fact, many support group participants sit in for several meetings before introducing themselves or contributing in any way.
Depending on the support group, several things can follow introductions. In smaller groups, members sit in a circle and share recent experiences or feelings, or the group leader will bring up topic for discussion and members respond. In larger groups, often a speaker will discuss their hearing loss and the effect it has had on their life. After their presentation, group members will respond and discuss the person’s story in a supportive and uplifting manner. Meetings usually close with small chit chat among members and, in some cases, a group prayer.
While opening up to a group of people can be scary, those considering joining a support group for their hearing loss must remember that the group is just that – supportive. Every member of the group has experienced hearing loss in some form or another, meaning they can and do understand the emotions associated with it as well as the trials of everyday life. Support groups can be an invaluable tool in learning how to adjust to hearing loss and learn what to expect in the coming years. It is a unique chance to surround oneself with like minded individuals who face many of the same challenges in their lives.Support Groups
- Hearing Loss Chapters The Hearing Loss Association of America has chapters in every state that offer several support groups for those suffering from hearing loss.
- Adult Support Groups Provides contact information for several national and local agencies that provide information on support groups for hearing loss as well as other resources.
- Support Groups for Tinnitus Provides a listing of support groups by state for those suffering from tinnitus, as well as resources on how to start a group.
- Chicago Support Groups Provides meeting locations, dates and times for hearing loss support groups in Chicago, Illinois.
- American Society of Deaf Children Provides support and resources for parents of children who are suffering from hearing loss.
- National Association of the Deaf Has numerous resources, advocacy groups and support groups for those suffering from hearing loss and their friends and family.
- Alexander Graham Bell Association Provides resources and information for those suffering from hearing loss and their families.
- Deaf CAN Provides networking, advocacy and support for those suffering from hearing loss.
- Hearing Foundation Provides multiple resources, events, news and support for those suffering from hearing loss and their loved ones.